By James Hibberd
January 31, 2013 at 06:26 PM EST

CBS trounced original comedies on NBC and ABC by airing commercials Wednesday night.

The network’s annual special, Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials, had 9.9 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 5 percent from last year, nearly winning 8 p.m. outright if not for a certain Fox singing competition.

Especially in this era of ad-skipping DVRs, isn’t this dream programming for a network? A show full of commercials, with commercials, that beats the competition.

Meanwhile, let’s check in on American Idol. Shaking up a reality show panel is a bit like performing a major organ transplant. There’s this tense period for a few days after the operation while doctors wait and see if the patient’s immune system will accept the foreign matter or acutely reject the new organ. Fox put Idol‘s judging panel under the knife for Season 12. So far, fans aren’t outright rejecting Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.

Now in Week 3, American Idol delivered 15.6 million viewers and a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49 on Wednesday night. That’s only down a tenth from last week’s rating in these early numbers. Is Idol pacing as its lowest-rated regular season yet? Sure, that’s expected. But viewers aren’t exactly fleeing from Minaj’s wigs. Overall, Idol isn’t dropping week-to-week as much as last year.

The rest of broadcast had grimmer news.

With ABC airing half-originals, half-repeats, ABC’s The Neighbors was down 20 percent to match its season low and Suburgatory was down 18 percent to tie its series low. NBC’s Whitney was down 7 percent, Guys With Kids was down 15 percent to tie its season low, SVU was down 19 percent and Chicago Fire was down 9 percent. The CW’s Arrow was down 18 percent, though Supernatural was steady.

Full Chart:

FOX 8-10P AMERICAN IDOL #1 5.4 15,593
ABC 8:00P MIDDLE R #10t 1.3 5,517
8:30P NEIGHBORS #7t 1.6 5,249
9:00P MODERN FAMILY R #2t 2.1 6,165
9:30P SUBURGATORY #5 1.8 4,868
10-11P NASHVILLE R #13t 0.9 3,000
CBS 8-9P SUPER BOWL ADS S #2t 2.1 9,866
9-10P CRIMINAL MINDS R #7t 1.6 7,175
10-11P CSI R #7t 1.6 7,174
NBC 8:00P WHITNEY #10t 1.3 3,585
8:30P GUYS KIDS #12 1.1 2,895
9-10P LAW&O:SVU #6 1.7 6,366
10-11P CHICAGO FIRE #4 2.0 7,225
CW 8-9P ARROW #13t 0.9 2,996
9-10P SUPRNATURAL #13t 0.9 2,281